We flew to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines to spend a precruise night at the Anchorage Hilton. The desk gave us a forth floor room with a view of a brick wall. We went back down and politely complained and were reassigned to the eleventh floor with a city view. The strange thing is that we could tell that much of the Hotel was empty that night. The next morning, after a comped breakfast at the buffet, we waited to meet a bus that would take us to The Grandview Cruise Train to meet the Mariner in Seward. There was much confusion in the Hilton lobby with various groups waiting to get on buses to different ships. Forty minutes behind schedule, we got on a bus and were finally told by other passengers that the train had broken down and we would have to make the 3 hour transfer by bus. I had been looking forward to this scenic train ride as the real beginning of our trip. Oh well, I can't blame Regent, It just would have been nice to know what the delay was all about.
The embarkation went well. It was quick. We were escorted to our stateroom to find our luggage on the bed ready to be unpacked. that was a first. We have always had to wait for it during our past cruises of various lines. The stateroom was very elegant with lovely wood trim and done in earth tones of cream and rust. There was a bottle of champaign and two crystal flutes waiting for us on our glass coffee table from the line. Very nice touch. But the minnie bar fridge only contained soda, a few beers and water. The promised In-suite bar set up only happens for Penthouse B and above. We found the Main Dinning room, the Compass Rose to be good but not what I would call excellent. The service was spotty at first with long waits for coffee and mix ups in orders. Once I ordered corn beef hash and got hash browns instead. It got better - later in the cruise. We found the buffet La Veranda had very good food and even heated plates. But the actual buffet area seems to be jammed into too small of an area. So, it can seem tight. Of the two speciality restaurants, I thought Signatures was by far the best. The food was truly excellent. But it was hard getting more than one reservation for it. I got the feeling it was only hard for 1st time cruisers. One woman I talked to, who had cruised with Regent many times said, "I can get reservations any time I want, I know the owner". Allrighty then!
The ship has a lovely atrium with stairways that seem to float in midair. There are 3 glass elevators which travel all the way to deck 12 but one of the three never functioned the entire cruise. We took 3 tours. The Sea Life Discovery Tour in Sitka. I didn't care for this one. There were 3 areas of sea life and in between those areas some very long rides on the hard backless seats with nothing to look at. And mostly you were seeing starfish and very few fish. Second was the Mendenhall Glacier River Float. It was beautiful but cold. The mild rapids were fun and not too scary and we got up close and personal with an iceberg. Last was the White Pass Train ride. I loved this and strongly recommend it. They even let us stand outside in between the train cars. It was truly to die for scenery.
Room service was excellent, we had a wonderful hot breakfast in our stateroom the last morning and then walked quietly off the ship. There were no crowds, no waiting in public rooms. The line does offer a lot of perks, no extra charge for libations, no tipping. My guess is that they treat their past cruisers VERY well. Its up to you if the perks are worth the extra $$$.